Ghislaine Maxwell’s lawyer said he is “heartbroken” after she was denied bail for the fourth time by a US court following claims that she is suffering sleep loss and is being “intimidated” by jail guards.
The three-judge panel from a Manhattan appeals court gave the ruling on Tuesday, saying the 59-year-old British former socialite should appeal to a lower district court.
David Markus, her attorney, said he is heartbroken by the ruling and they are “considering our options for next step.”
The one-page ruling said that: “During oral argument, counsel for Appellant expressed concern that Appellant was improperly being deprived of sleep while incarcerated.
“To the extent Appellant seeks relief specific to her sleeping conditions, such request should be addressed to the District Court.”
Ms Maxwell has been held in Brooklyn prison since July last year on multiple charges of trafficking underage girls for her ex-boyfriend Jeffrey Epstein, a convicted sex criminal who killed himself in 2019 while awaiting trial. She denies all the charges against her.
The ruling came after her attorney said in court on Monday that Ms Maxwell is kept awake at night by guards to ensure that she does not die in jail like Epstein.
Mr Markus argued that Ms Maxwell keeps a sock or towel over her eyes to block the torchlight that is shone into her cell every 15 minutes, making her sleep-deprived and prevents her from preparing for trial.
This was challenged by the circuit judge Pierre Leval who repeatedly asked if she is at suicide risk and said constant checks were “routine” in the cells.
“There’s no evidence she’s suicidal. Why is the Bureau of Prisons doing this? They’re doing it because Jeffrey Epstein died on their watch. And again, she’s not Jeffrey Epstein, this isn’t right,” Mr Markus said.
Her lawyer Bobbi Sternheim wrote in papers filed on Monday night that the jail guard stood “knee to knee” with her when Ms Maxwell used the “commode in the small area containing one toilet and a sink.”
“Having a guard standing over her while she used the commode caused Ms Maxwell to feel intimidated and humiliated,” the letter said.
The letter was filed on the same day as her attorney requested her bail.
She is facing 80 years in prison on charges of allegedly trafficking underage girls for multimillionaire paedophile Epstein for their sexual abuse in the 1990s and early 2000s.